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Saturday, January 14, 2012
Superman: True Brit by Kim "Howard" Johnson and John Cleese
I found this and hoped for something that it was not
Now, I'm not going to hold the fact that I did not read the cover very carefully against the book - that's my fault, not the book's.
I was hoping for something a bit more serious, like Millar's Red Son in which Superman is raised in the USSR rather than in the USA.
But, this book is a tongue-in-cheek take on Superman, based on the premise that he landed in Kent in England, rather than Kansas, USA. Co-written by Monty Python contributers (it doesn't seem quite right to call John Cleese a mere contributor), this is an irreverant look at English culture, government and media - Superman is merely the medium used to deliver these scathing attacks.
A lot of the book deals with how normal people react to someone with super powers. Unfortunately, much of this ground was covered by Pixar's The Incredibles (both The Incredibles and True Brit were released in 2004) and even, to a lesser (and darker) extent by Frank Miller's first Dark Knight series.
The real lesson in this book is that good parents are very important. Superman's English parents can't hold a candle to Superman's traditional American parents.
The art of this one is a real strength - it reminded me very much of the vivid, clean lines of the Superman comics that I read when I was a kid.
So, mixed scores: Strong art, the Superman story is sacrificed for the jokes, but they are good jokes, no new ground covered when it comes to regular people's reactions to Super Heroes...
This one gets 3 out of 5 stars from me.
This graphic novel can be found on Amazon.com here: Superman: True Brit.
Reviewed on June 15, 2007.